Last week Scottish boxing fans were treated to the exciting news that the much talked about clash between Scottish bantamweights, Kash Farooq vs Lee McGregor, would be taking place in November for the British and Commonwealth titles. One man that knows the two very well is Celtic Bantamweight champion, Scott Allan (9-4-1). Whilst manager Iain Wilson was busy negotiating the huge Scottish bout, he had not forgotten about the rest of his stable as he secured Scott an opportunity to face the winner, with a British Bantamweight title eliminator taking place this past Thursday, against Salford-based Marc Leach (13-1-1).
Despite looking gaunt at the weigh-in, even having to remove his boxers to make the bantamweight limit, we were presented with a different Marc Leach in the ring on fight night, who looked fresh faced and focused with World champion trainer, Jamie Moore, in his corner. Scott matched him with confidence, hopping over the top ropes looking ready to grab the opportunity in front of him.
The opening round was cagey, Scott tried to close the distance with a constant bouncing of slips and feints whilst Marc stood composed and throwing out a solid jab, whilst regularly switching stance.
The second round proved a nightmare for the Scot as he found himself on the end of a perfectly-timed shot, knocking him to the canvas, despite seeming unfazed by the knockdown, it left him with a 10-8 round against him and it was this patience and timing that the Englishman would rely on to control the following rounds.
Allan managed to draw Leach into a trade off in the fourth round, both exchanging shots on the inside. However the Shotts lad left worse off as he returned to his stool with a bloodied face.
Leading into the second half of the fight, the challenger from Salford had established a lead on the cards, especially with the knockdown. However, Scott showed his usual grit and determination and began having a lot more success landing flurries. Leach was failing to time his shots as well as he had in the first half of the fight but the Englishman landed enough to leave the rounds open to the spectator’s preference.
Leach returned to form with a strong 9th round and ensured he done enough to pick up the unanimous decision, with the cards reading 95-94, 96-93, 98-93. A great fight to round up the last evening of boxing at the Radisson Hotel this year.
Marc Leach will no doubt be joining the rest of Scotland in watching the massive bantamweight bout between Kash Farooq and Lee McGregor. With his newfound mandatory status for the Lonsdale belt, we could end up seeing the Salford fighter return to Scotland to face the winner.
On the undercard we had Martin Harkin (10-0), as he returned to the ring in his first bout since winning the Celtic Welterweight title in emphatic fashion back in May, when he brutally knocked out former Scottish champion, Ally Black.
Standing across from him in the ring was tough Nicaraguan journeyman, Eligio Palacios. The champion started the fight with lighter feet than usual, moving in and out of range nicely, picking his shots. His opponent proved tricky at times, using his long reach to keep Martin at bay and thinking about the shots he was throwing.
As the fight went on, the Dumbarton lad dominated, displaying a solid jab throughout and regularly punishing the tough journeyman with some flashy combinations and big overhand rights, rocking his head on a few occasions. However it didn’t deter the man in front of him. When Harkin managed to get in close, he would unleash his huge tight uppercuts, which have become a bit of a trademark shot of his. Yet, the Spain-based Nicaraguan proved his resilience and lasted the full six rounds, despite taking some punishment, leaving Martin Harkin winning all six rounds and moving to 11-0.
Thankfully Martin remained unscathed from the bout as he received news he will be fighting on the undercard of Kash Farooq v Lee McGregor, on November 16th at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.
Opening the night we had Houston based boxer Darren Tarr making his professional debut in a four rounder at super-middleweight.
It was a nervous opening from the debutant, looking over eager to impress; he would misjudge his distance leaving him missing occasionally; however had great success with chopping right hooks to the body that seemed to affect his Italian opponent, Gianni Antoh. Not your usual journeyman, Gianni was chiselled and ready to punish Darren for any mistakes, with big looping shots.
Darren returned for the third round, looking more composed and rid of the debut-jitters. He focused on his own head movement, slipping and picking his shots nicely. However, perhaps getting a bit carried away in the fourth round, he let his guard down and walked into a huge left, leaving him stumbling back into the corner. Despite looking a bit dazzled he managed to stay on his feet and survived the round to win a close point’s win at 39-38, getting the first fight out the way and gaining valuable experience